Actionable Optimisation

Actionable Optimisation #36 – Don’t Force Conversion Distractions On Your Customers

 January 19, 2021

By  Will

Avoid Introducing Distractions In the Purchase Journey

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Distractions are bad for conversion at the best of times, so why do so many companies insist on taking customers out of the purchase journey?

The one that really gets me? 

Recognising that i’ve been a customer before, and forcing me to login to continue.

There’s probably a reason I selected Guest Checkout or haven’t logged in already. Either I don’t know I have an account, or I don’t remember my password.

Make it easy for the customer to continue their purchase, and THEN make the ask of them.

M&S do a great job of this as you can see in the image below. I was able to complete my purchase without interruption, and was then advised to reset my password.

They could take this a step further and add a reason for this, maybe tracking is only available within your account, or you have to login to claim the loyalty points on the purchase.

But what matter is I completed that purchase and handed my hard earned pennies over to them without any issue.

If they had interrupted my purchase to make me login I’m faced with the following additional steps:

  1. Click login and attempt to login
  2. Click reset password & most likely have to type my email in again
  3. LEAVE the M&S website and go check my inbox, with them hoping I don’t see a competitor promotion, or see an important email that I have to deal with.
  4. Click through the email and reset my password
  5. Most likely login, because most password resets don’t log you in at the same time.
  6. Return to the Checkout and continue filling out details to make my purchase.

I’m being a bit nice there by saying that’s just 6 additional steps.

There are plenty of extra steps already that could all very easily lead to an abandoned basket. 

But then take into account password resets themselves.

Baymard Institute found that overly strict password requirements lead to an 18% abandonment rate.

So even if you keep your customers focus and bring them back to your site, you might then be putting yet another obstacle in front of them.

It might be that 1 extra requirement that most other sites don’t have.

It could be ‘you can’t use a previous password’.

Or, as i’ve experienced before, I don’t like resetting my password on mobile because it’s more hassle with my password app.

Get your customers through the purchase journey as seamlessly as possible, and not only will you see better conversion rates, you’ll have happier customers as well.

Then you have a great opportunity after the purchase to add value to the customer, but that’s for another post.


Will is a Customer Journey Marketing consultant, specialising in CRO, CRM and Customer Experience. Will has over 7 years experience working across a range of consumer facing businesses and has worked for huge brands such as MyVoucherCodes, Europcar, JackpotJoy, Virgin Games and Virgin Bet.


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